The Promise of a Coming Day

By the waters of Babylon,
there we sat down and wept,
when we remembered Zion.
On the willows there
we hung up our lyres.
For there our captors
required of us songs,
and our tormentors, mirth, saying,
“Sing us one of the songs of Zion!”
How shall we sing the Lord’s song
in a foreign land?
Psalms 137:1-4

As irritating as TV commercials can be, there is one playing currently that cracks me up.
Literally, it has me laughing out loud. And sometimes even before the funny part–all in anticipation.

Maybe you’ve seen it.

It starts with animated characters drawn in what looks like pencil. The whole thing is set to the old A-Ha song, Take On Me (and uses the original music video as its inspiration). Suddenly, the whole scene changes to a board room type situation where we realize the drawings have been made by a guy doodling as the meeting progresses… only to realize he is singing. Loud. In the middle of the meeting.

Can you say embarrassment?
I love it!

For about a week now I have been humming, whistling, and singing one particular song by Crosby, Stills, and Nash…

I whistle a bar here, sing a line there. And like the guy in the commercial, suddenly realize I am humming out loud.

I love their music. They have multiple songs on their playlist that I really enjoy.

But my favorite song was a dream that one day came true.

During my stint in the US Navy, I travelled all over the world.
Saw some great places.
Met different and intriguing cultures.
My favorite country to visit? Chile.

It was on the way to Chile, as we sailed and showed the Flag around the entire continent of South America, that I finally saw what I had only envisioned in my mind before.

The Southern Cross.
The constellation ancient mariners navigated by in the southern hemisphere.

Thanks to Crosby, Stills, and Nash, I once longed to see those stars aligned in the nighttime sky. Thanks to the US Navy (and Becki), I have. (The Becki part? That’s a story for another day.)

I’d like to see the constellation again someday, but in the meantime? I sing, whistle, and hum…

When you see the Southern Cross for the first time
You understand now why you came this way
‘Cause the truth you might be runnin’ from is so small
But it’s as big as the promise, the promise of a comin’ day…

The song itself is about loss.
It’s about escape.
It’s about a new life even as one moves forward from and within the remnants of the old.
Most importantly, its about the promise of a coming day.

In other words, hope!


Today may be painful.
Tomorrow may be worse.
And next week or even next year?
Yes, there will be times of continued pain and difficulty or the onset of brand new hurts not even imagined as of yet. And it may feel as if you are living in a foreign land…

Turns out, there isn’t a shelf life or expiration date for the pain life often has to offer.
Like losing a child… it will always be there, always sting, and always ache. Like a nightmare you can’t wake up from, it never quite goes away.

It is what it is.

But even in the pain.
Even in the uncertainty.
Even in the questioning and wondering of why you came this way…
There is always the promise of a coming day.


When you see the Southern Cross for the first time
You understand now why you came this way
‘Cause the truth you might be runnin’ from is so small
But it’s as big as the promise, the promise of a comin’ day…

In Jesus, there will be a new day!


Les Ferguson, Jr.

6 thoughts on “The Promise of a Coming Day

  1. My heart aches for your loss, Les. I too lost a spouse, as well as two sons, in a plane crash. Much of what you write is very familiar to me. Not a day goes by that I don’t miss my family, that I don’t look forward to seeing them again in the resurrection. The pain is dulled by the changes and demands of life, but it continues to lie close below the surface of my daily functions, just waiting for a nick or a scratch to bring it oozing (or boiling) out again. And all this 23 years later, for me. But I can say that God has been so good to me. He’s carried me and my two remaining children, wounded and damaged as we are. I have a deep sense that my pain is also His pain; my loss is also His loss. For me, the question was never “why,” but “do I trust Him?”

  2. Les – I get your posts here by email first, and when I saw this a couple of days ago now, and read the beginning verses from Psalms, I immediately thought of and could hear in my head one of my all time favorite Willie Nelson songs (from his “Gospel Favorite” album, which I bought just because I’d heard this one song while at my mom’s house in Abilene one Sunday morning!!) “Rivers of Babylon.”

    It’s been going through my head since, so I just HAD to share the link to his version with you & all your readers here. Don’t know if you’ve ever heard it, but it resonates with me for some unknown reason.

    Love Crosby, Stills & Nash, “Southern Cross,” as well, and have since the very first time I ever heard it. Tom & I were extraordinarily fortunate in being able to see them in their 25th anniversary farewell tour when they came to New Orleans. Tom obtained two free tickets through his work at the Picayune Item as Newspaper Publisher and we went. What a joy to hear this song by them sung live!! The whole show/concert was fabulous and beyond amazing, with ovation songs performed.

    Our God blesses us SO much, even in our darkest, most tragic moments by His presence in our lives – by just being with us, even when we cannot SEE Him. (I will send you an edited email I wrote a couple of days ago to my dear friend, Greg England, in which I reflected on some of these things in relation to my elderly mom who is in such dire physical and mental circumstances due to advanced Alzheimer’s and a horrific fall that basically shattered the right side of her face a few weeks ago up in Lubbock.)

    Here’s the YouTube link to Willie Nelson/Rivers of Babylon:

    Love y’all!!


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